Fraud alert should not cause an increase in apartment fees


Dear Experian,

My apartment complex raised my fees because you reported, “APPLICANT: High Probability SSN Belongs to Another. There is an excellent chance that the Social Security number on the application belongs to someone else. This is highly indicative of fraudulent activity. Carefully verify the identity of the applicant before proceeding.” Does Experian make such claims?


Dear ATR,

As part of its fraud prevention services Experian alerts businesses if information in a credit report indicates an increased risk of fraud. Such an alert enables businesses to take additional steps to verify the identity of the individual, protecting both you and them from identity theft.

The alert doesn’t mean the business should automatically deny an application or increase fees or rates. Rather, it should prompt the business to request additional identification information or documentation to ensure you are who you say you are and not an identity thief before proceeding.

It’s not clear from your email whether the fees were for an existing lease or related to a new lease application.

A credit report isn’t usually reviewed by an apartment management company except when you are applying for a new lease. Often, the management company will conduct a more thorough background check including previous rental history.

You should ask your property manager for a more complete explanation of why your fees were increased or if there may have been reasons other than the credit report for the increase.

Thanks for asking.

The “Ask Experian” team

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